Repeating Kindergarten?

Melissa - posted on 02/03/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My little boy has a summer birthday and is struggling in kindergarten. He has weak fine motor skills because it took him a while to decide which hand to use, turns out after having him tested that he is ambidextrous. He is also having a hard time learning his letters and their sounds. I am concerned that his teacher is going to recommend that we retain him in kindergarten. I researched this a few years ago when my oldest was struggling in first grade and I am really opposed to it. Luckily with some after school tutoring he was fine by the end of the year. My husband was held back in first grade because he struggled with reading, he was half way through the second year of first grade before he was accurately diagnosed with dyslexia. My husband has said that repeating first grade caused him to hate school and to think that he was dumb. Has anyone held their child back? Was it a good thing or do you think that they could have been helped in other ways? We already have arranged to have him tutored after school twice a week.

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Michelle - posted on 05/09/2013

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The hellllo post is the best post. As a parent of a girl. Who was nine weeks early I am going through this tough choice. She is in public school and the school year is coming to an end. Her teacher complained to me through the whole year that my daughter had focusing issues. That she wasn't doing well with reading. That she seemed uninterested. And this is a teacher that sent home homework every day to her kindergarten students. A lot of homework. I asked the teacher several times through the year what she suggested. She said take her to the doctor maybe she has ADD. Well I wanted to knock the teacher out. My daughter has a summer birthday so of she goes into first grade she will be barley six. But if she was born on time she would just be starting kindergarten. Well. You show me a 5 year old that doesn't look around the class room and doesn't want to play and might not be able to focus on reading a book for Twenty min. I did take her to the doctor and he laughed when I said ADD. He was more worried about her anxiety and fear. Well I put it all together when I checked out a private school and they took the time to explain how they believe the road to education should go. K-through Second grade is about laying a foundation for your child. Building there self esteem. teaching them to want to learn rather then pressure them to know this or that. Get the children to speak up by helping them realize they can find answers within them self and asking questions is a wonderful thing not a fearful thing. It should be a calm fun and educational experience. They where shocked on the home work she was given. They believe that reading to your child every day should be it at home.
Spas I was listening to them tell mea all this all these light bulbs where going off in my head.
she is not ready for first grade. I'm hoping to be Ble to send her to this new school. I originally researched it to start her in first grade because her present school was such a chaotic stressful environment . I have beat my self up and was feeling like a failure and so scars that my daughter had a problem.
She doesn't. She just wasn't ready. Self esteem is so important in our children. That is what will drive them to sore in everything in life. If they are defensive, argumentative, and not wanting to tell you about there day at school those are signs of being pushed to hard.
I have decided to do kindergarten again at this new school. I would rather kid know a little more and enjoy school then get held back in first or second grade because she didn't get the time and nurturing she needed in kindergarten. Wish me lunch as I wish all you parents luck. Every child is different. That's what we need to remember as parents.

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Natasha - posted on 08/21/2013

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Both my children are left and right brain thinkers. One who is now 8 was made to be right handed and has just been diagnosed with dyslexia. The other is only 4 but at this stage uses both hands to write his names among other things. I know at this stage it is a tough decision but, if you talk to you child he may tell you what he feels. And it may make the decision easier. Although the school may have good intentions they would not be able to know how your child would feel only your child could tell you that.

Shellyphillips - posted on 08/14/2013

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I am wondering what you ended up doing and how you feel about the choices you made. it's 2013 and I am struggling with holding my son back for kindergarten after working with a tutor all summer and just making the cut - being the youngest in his class and seeing him loose his confidence and probable that he is dyslexic as I am and it runs in my family - please do share how you feel things went. - I may change his school from Private to public as he needs more recourses too

Shellyphillips - posted on 08/14/2013

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I am wondering what you ended up doing and how things are going as I am going through this now 2013 thanks!!

Barbara - posted on 05/04/2012

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I am going thru the exact same thing.... my son w/a summer birthday.... he doesn't seem to have any issue that we can put our finger on....other than hating school the first 4 months due to bullying.....and an inexperienced teacher who wanted to continually deny the problem..... at this time I do think it is better to put him back in kindergarten where things should come easier for him, he will have a head start....
Not sure how to explain in to him.....
Right now trying to decide what I want in a teacher for 2nd yr......

Any ideas

Monica - posted on 02/19/2009

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Hi.. I totally understand your proactive approach.. I also agree with you that sometimes the problem can be the teacher.. or the teacher can be a blessing..



 My daughter was 4 when she started school because of the deadline.. she made it by 10 days.. She went into booster Kindergarten. The teacher she had was such a blessing there were only 9 students in the class I believe.. So the kids were able to get more one on one time and help.. She made those kids feel loved and special..



 My daughter has since been diagnosed with a learning disability.. she is 8 and in the 2nd grade now.. I am so glad I had her do kindergarten for two years.. she was just not ready to move on to the first grade right away.. I see the benefits everyday because I did give her that extra time and gained confidence..



 Every child is different.. So you do what is best for your child and your family.. good luck.



 

Jessica - posted on 02/17/2009

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Hellooooo,  I have a son his name is Waylon , he too has a late summer birthday . I held him back this year in kindergarten for a secound year with a different teacher , this was a very hard decsion . I have to tell you it was the best thing I have ever done for my child !! He had a hard time with writing and reading , sounding out letters and connecting them as words . He had no idea that these letters would form a word !!  We are now in february and he is exelled in all of his skills he is confident and happy . I know all children are different , you will know what to do I think kindergarten is the way to go, you don't want to hold him back in first or secound grade that I could see would effect him more .  I hope youfeel better !:)

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I have son with a late June birthday. I held him back and it was a great decision. In our community it is very common, which also helped me with that decision. He was ready academically to move on, but not ready in regards to emotional maturity. Also since is is a common decision in our community I was afraid that he would end up being much, much younger than his peers in middle and high school. I have heard that you really see the benefits of holding a child back as they mature. I am very happy with our decision. Whatever you decide will be the best thing for your child and your family. Good luck.



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Hi, Wow... this sounds like my daughter... she 4 five days into kindergarden the cut off date was the 15th and she was born on the 10th. She is struggling so much now, tho I live in PA and where she goes it's only half day kindergarden, so not only is she struggling, but she's not given enough time to really grasp any of the concepts. She has improved slightly was the year has gone on, they have two teachers acting as interventionist's for her reading and word recognition, she's struggling with the sounds also. She's till below what they expect her to be, but they said that it's also an immaturity thing - it's hard to take because I know she's soo smart, and I feel like no one believes me. I had asked if they thought they were going to hold her back, but they said probably not because first grade is full day and she can get more support. Here are a couple things that I've been doing to help:
1)
Did flash cards on index cards of just the letters, its on a spiral so she takes it everywhere, and she'll flip them and I'll ask her what the letters are and give me some examples of words or sounds, we stick with animals because that seems to be easier for her.

2)
We write letters on sticky notes and put them on the fridge, and when she feels like it, she'll sit there and move them around and try to make them into words. (i'm sure they have magnet letters but I have yet to find them colorful enough to engage her attention)

3)
The $1 store has princess flashcards (and spiderman) and we go through them like candy - she takes them with her in the car - and we practice repeating letters we might see in signs, or on buildings.

Walmart has great aids too with dry-erase boards and everything...

If they told me that she would have to stay back, this is probably the only time i would allow it, simply because she is young, she doesn't know what being embarassed about staying back is or mean's and I would then probably try to find a school that would have all the services that they could provide to help her.

I hope this helped... good luck

Courtney - posted on 02/16/2009

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I'm surprised that the school didn't requst you have hearing and vision test done! You have to rule out hearing and vision problems before you jump into holding a child back. Your child is getting all this extra help and still not grasping onto it..... if he can't hear what the teacher is saying properly or see what is being written then obviously he will have learing difficulties. Does he get ear infections? Could have fluid in the ear that is not draining properly that would cause hearing problems. Does any of his teachers notice if he gets headaches when trying to read or look at something? That has to do with vision. I can go on, I have 5 boys which 4 of them had many reading and writing struggles.

Courtney - posted on 02/16/2009

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I'm surprised that the school didn't requst you have hearing and vision test done! You have to rule out hearing and vision problems before you jump into holding a child back. Your child is getting all this extra help and still not grasping onto it..... if he can't hear what the teacher is saying properly or see what is being written then obviously he will have learing difficulties. Does he get ear infections? Could have fluid in the ear that is not draining properly that would cause hearing problems. Does any of his teachers notice if he gets headaches when trying to read or look at something? That has to do with vision. I can go on, I have 5 boys which 4 of them had many reading and writing struggles.

Courtney - posted on 02/16/2009

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Your son should first get his hearing and vision tested before anything. That is number one before anything. There could very well be difficulties there.

Wendy - posted on 02/16/2009

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MY SON MATTER WAS HELP BACK IN KINDERGARTEN LAST YEAR.. WHILE I DO SEE HIM UPSET WITH THE FACT THAT HE IS STILL IN THE SAME GRADE. WE TELL HIM HOW HE IS THE BIGGEST AND THE TEACHER HELPER AND HE LIKES THAT.. HE ALSO GOES TO AN AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM WHERE HE GETS EXTRA HELP.. MY POINT IN HAVING MY SON HELD BACK WAS YEA HE MAY BE UPSET BUT AT THE SAME TIME IF HE GOES ON TO 1ST GRADE HE IS GOING TO STRUGGLE AND MY END UP HATING SCHOOL MORE CAUSE THE WORK IS TO HARD FOR HIM AND THEN END UP GETTING HELD BACK AND HAVE BAD GRADES. 1ST GRADE IS REAL START OF THEIR GRADES AND REPORT CARDS. I DID NOT WANT HIM TO GET BAD GRADES AND HATE GOING CAUSE HE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE WORK. WE EXPLAINED TO MATTHEW WHY HE HAD TO STAY BACK AND HE UNDERSTANDS AND WORK HARD TO DO BETTER AND IS LOOKING FORWARD TO 1ST GRADE NEXT YEAR..

Lana - posted on 02/15/2009

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I honestly dont think there is anything wrong w/ a child being held back. I f they arent ready for the next grade why force them. The school year isnt over yet though. We held my daughter back in kinder and it was the best thing for her I think. She would have been way behind.

Melissa - posted on 02/14/2009

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He is actually very mature for his age as well as being big for his age. He is only a few inches shorter then his third grade brother and only about 10 pounds lighter. A lot of people mistake him for being older. We actually get asked if they are twins, lol. Socially he gets along really well with other kids, he is well behaved with his teachers. He is very independent and is always wanting to do what the older kids are doing. So I don't think maturity is an issue. He just can't seem to remember his letters and their sounds. Part of my concern with his teacher is that she just seemed to think that since he has a summer birthday the easiest solution was just to hold him back. After I made it clear that it would take a lot to convince me to do that she seems to making more of an effort. This last week they started having him attend an afternoon kindergarten class, with another teacher, twice a week in addition to his morning class. So two days a week he goes full day. So between extra class time and the private tutor if he still isn't up to grade level then I will agree to retaining him. I just didn't think it should be the first thing we consider.

Lisa - posted on 02/14/2009

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I'm in Australia and if you talk to teachers here many prefer for children to be emotionally ready for school, not just cognitively. You say your DS is struggling with the work, how is he socially and emotionally? I followed some advice and sent my DS to school although he was one of the youngest students to start. He struggled at school and his teacher said I should have held him back. Instead I asked his teacher about repeating grade one, she fixed that up and that following year all I got was praise for DS and how he was coping. I should have started him a year later, but I have no regrets that he still had that extra year.

I've spoken to a few people who have decided to wait until their children (mostly they've been boys) have had their 6th birthday before they start school. Had I waited a year DS would have had his 6th birthday the month he started, making him one of the older children, rather than one of the youngest.

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I wish we had had my daughter repeat kindergarten. I actually asked for her to repeat and was told no. She struggled so much in grade 1 and it took a huge toll on her self esteem. SHe is now in grade 3, doing grade 2 & 3 work, but she started homeschooling at the beginning of grade 2. She still struggles to learn, but the pressure of "school' is not there any more. Besides that we have found out she has a huge talent is sewing and has made clothes, pliiows, aprons, ect for family and friends. We would never have dicovered this talent if it hadn't been for homeschooling. ANyways, you know your son, my daughter still wishes she was in kindergarten some days and it wouldn't have hurt her at all to repeat it. I think it was worse for her to go ahead, not ready. How do you feel about it, and ask your son, it won;t be seen negatively by him unless it is presented that way to him..

Elizabeth - posted on 02/13/2009

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My son is repeating kindergarten he has a early birthday. I don't think it's a big deal.

Amanda - posted on 02/13/2009

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I teach Kindergarten and have gone through this with lots of parents through my years of teaching. The thing we have to remember is that all children are on a learning continum. They learn at different rates. Each child enters kindergarten at different points and the teachers job is to move them along. Some will get what they need able more time before being ready to move on. Ohters will just need more time. It is not a failure just a need for more time. I am a parent of a kindergarten this year. My sons birthday is late May and I thought about holding him back in Pre K 4 before sending him to K. But my husband and I decided that it would be best to let him go on. RIght now it's ok. I am worried about next year. This time of year I see children just blossom. I'd say just wait until the end and see how things go. Your child may suprise you. But be prepared because he may not be ready for first grade by the end of the year.

Good luck to you!

Angie - posted on 02/13/2009

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I'm sure the tutoring will be a huge help but if he still isn't ready for 1st grade, I think I'd hold him back. School is so different from when I a kid - they learn so much more so much earlier that you don't want them to start out behind. He will only fall farther and farther behind. With a supportive home, like yours, he won't feel "dumb" about repeating kindergarten. I hope things work out with the tutor so this will be a mute point!

Melissa - posted on 02/10/2009

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I do stay home. We haven't considered homeschooling yet. So far he has had six sessions with a private tutor and she said that she can already see improvement. So I don't know what to think. I guess for now we will see how things go.

Crystal - posted on 02/10/2009

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I can see where it could be damaging, however I was place into TK1 for ludicrus reasons and I didn't feel dumb, because then they decided I was gifted.

However my husband was in remedial classes for most of his school time and like your husband felt dumb, but had they done an IQ test on him, he would have scored as high as I did, if not higher. He has dyslexia also, but he wasn't diagnosed until he was 18. Long after the school's could have helped him learn better.

Do you stay at home? Have you looked into maybe homeschooling him? The one on one time may work out better for him in the long run.

Katherine - posted on 02/10/2009

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Deciding what is best for your children can be so hard!  I would wait to see how the tutoring works out first, the extra attention may be able to bring him up to an appropriate level for starting Grade 1.



It is a difficult choice.  Will he feel that he is "dumb" because he is retained in K'garden for another year or will it be worse for him to be put into a class where he is unable to keep up with the other children.  I think that it all depends on how the situation is approached. 



Not all children are ready for K'garden or Grade 1 at the same time.  Each child develops on their own timetable.  Society has placed a specific age on the entry into K''garden of 5 years old. Some children are ready by the age of 5, some children are ready earlier, and others need more time to develop and grow.  Only you and your husband know what is right for your son. 

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